Sunday, 18 July 2010

Federal election 2010

Well a Federal Election has been announced for August 21 and I've go no idea who to vote for.

Now I know that I'll see pictures on the news (or maybe run in to) both Gillard and Abbott at the nearby shopping centre. It's a popular place and my electorate, Boothby, is smack in the middle of most of the marginal seats in Adelaide.

The ABC has their election page up and I've been looking around.

Now this will be my second Federal election that I'll vote in, and I like to be informed about the candidates etc (except One Nation, I mean who cares about them?) but I don't know how many will be running in the end.

Last election there were 8 candidates, and until I know otherwise I'm assuming that there will be the same this time around. Yes, I'm actually looking at various candidates even though I know that it's either going to be Liberal or Labor (most likely Liberal). However preferences are important, and if I'm going to give other parties preferences I might as well know what these people believe in, you know, just in case there's a crazy swing to someone. Also I don't like the "How to Vote" cards.


We'll start with the incumbent, Andrew Southcott. He is according to his about page, he is currently the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health Services, Health and Wellbeing which I didn't actually know existed. I knew that he was the Shadow Minister for Sport, but I don't know if he still is though.

If you read the about page you will see that Dr. Southcott was a surgeon and has studied many other things as well. I do like that, we have someone who understands the value of education, and someone who understands health issues so I can understand why he has that really long titled position.

I suspect that he will have a battle though, in the last two elections he has lost ground to Labor, which I guess is from preferences to Labor from the Greens and the Independent candidate Ray McGhee.

The downside I have personally with voting for him is what it means. A vote for him is a vote for Tony Abbott.

I don't like Tony Abbott. I don't like how he determined social policies based on his own beliefs, like the banning of the drug RU-486 or his views on sex. I don't agree with Abbott's views on climate change either. Do I really want to give a preference to a party that, if they win, will be led by this man?

I don't know.

The second is the Labor candidate, Annabel Digance. I don't know anything about this candidate. Seriously. She already has one advantage though, she hasn't been chosen because she is a footballer's wife.

Like voting Liberal, voting for Labor means that I'm essentially casting my vote for Gillard. I may like Gillard for some things, like being an Atheist (or at least Agnostic), I don't agree with some Labor positions. The most important to me is the internet filter. Okay, they may have suspended it, clearly because of the (then upcoming) election, but it hasn't gone away.

Leaving the two major parties there are a few other candidates.

The Greens candidate is Fiona Blinco. There is one thing that she stands for that I don't agree with at all. She wants to remove the freight trains from the Adelaide Hills.

Now for people who haven't been to Adelaide I'll have to explain. Adelaide is located on the Adelaide plains. This area is enclosed to the west by the Gulf of St Vincent and to the east by the Adelaide Hills, which is the southern part of the Mt. Lofty Ranges. Now this range pretty much goes all the way down the Fleurieu Peninsula down to Cape Jervois.

The simplest way to get from Adelaide to the East is by going over these hills, and in this day and age it's not much of a hassle. But in order to get the trains out of the hills you have to reroute them, which probably means sending the trains further north only to sent them back down to the city. This would add a few hundred kilometres to a journey, and for a party that wants to lower carbon emissions makes it a really strange proposition.

If she was going to try and get Federal funding to improve the line and make it safer for freight trains then yes, that's a very good idea. But she isn't and I'd assume they won't.

It's a strange position considering that rail is a far more efficient way of moving stuff compared to trucks.

The last candidate that I could find is the Family First candidate. Her name Meredith Resce. The profile there basically says that she's a good Christian wife and mother, and that she's also a novelist.

However it's Family First, I don't agree with pretty much anything that they say. They've come out in support of Creationism, don't like what is taught in sex ed and have come out in support of the internet filter.

The Democrats haven't got anything up yet but they've taken a horrid beating in the last few elections (in 2004 there was a 16.89% swing away from them in first preference votes), so they might not field a candidate.

Last election there was a party that I'd never heard of, the Liberty and Democracy party. This year they are the Liberal Democratic Party. They haven't named a candidate yet. I don't really mind most of their principles. I really don't like the idea of competitive federalism, I also don't think that it compatible with any ideas of smaller government. I'm also not a fan of "everything should be privatised".

I don't know if there are any independents, and the only use for One Nation in my opinion is to answer the question "at what point do I prefer to be represented by a racist over other parties".

I still don't know how I'm going to organise my preferences, but the campaign has only just started so I've got about a month to properly decide.

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